If you guys remember back in this post, building up my savings was one of the goals I gave myself for 2019. I’m not a saver. Never have been. Generally I have good intentions, but it’s usually an afterthought and shoes and food take precedence when I had some leftover pennies to spare. But as I get older, it’s become more and more important to me to have a little nest egg for emergencies, travel, or a rainy day. After doing a little research, I realized that there are some AWESOME apps out there to help me achieve my savings goals and to do it easily. So, without further adieu, here are 5 of my favorite money saving and finance apps that I’ve discovered and have helped me to save without even giving it a second thought!
The thing I love about all of these apps is that they do most, if not ALL, of the work for you. There’s no thinking involved after setting up your accounts and choosing your settings. So you can start saving without even feeling like you’re doing anything at all! And I should mention that this post is not sponsored in any way. These are all apps that I actually love, use, and recommend!
Acorns – This handy little app rounds up all of the purchases that you make on a linked card, to the nearest dollar and then adds the change to an online investment portfolio. Aka, it saves all of your spare change for you, without you even thinking about it! I don’t know about you guys, but if I don’t have to think about saving, I’m more likely to do it. You can link as many cards as you want and can choose to have the change rounded up and pulled automatically, or you can go through and select which transactions you want to round up. (For simplicity, I round up all of my purchases). With the app, you can also choose to invest lump sums (any amount of $5 or more), when you have an extra amount to spare, or schedule a weekly or monthly lump sum to automatically be deposited into your account. There’s no minimum to open an account, but you do need a $5 balance to start investing in one of the five pre-built portfolios. You can also choose to withdraw your funds at anytime! Another cool feature of the app it something called “found money”, which is a partnership Acorns has with over 200 companies. Anytime you use a linked card to shop with one of their retailers, they’ll invest extra money into your account for you! Chevron, Hulu, Amazon, and AirBnb are all partners! The app does charge $1 per month for the service, but for me, it’s worth the price to know I’m saving without even trying. If you’re a college student, that fee is waived for 4 years!
*You can snag $5 for your account here, just for signing up! (I’ll get $5 too!)
Qapital – This app is another one of those “set it and forget it” type of savings situations that I love, but with A TON of savings options. And cool ones! After selecting the type of options you want, Qapital does the rest for you. First, link a checking account that you want to pull your savings from. Then comes the fun part…setting up your “goals”. The goals that you choose will follow whichever set of savings “rules” you select. For instance, you can choose to save a certain amount of money every time you finish a workout or every time you buy your favorite coffee. These ones are a fun way to save AND accomplish certain goals too! I’m sure you guys have seen and heard of the 52 week savings plan that is always floating around Pinterest near January 1st. I always have good intentions starting it, but fail to make it more than a few weeks without forgetting to make deposits. Well, guess what? Qapital has a rule for that! You can select the 52 week savings plan option and Qapital will automatically pull it for you each week! There are also options to pull a certain amount you set weekly or monthly, and you can also choose to round up any purchases to the nearest dollar and save that change too. Are you an independent business owner and have a hard time putting aside money for taxes? There’s a rule for that too! You can choose to set aside a certain percentage of every deposit over $100 to save for a tax fund down the road. Another feature that I love is that you can team up with other users on the app, like friends or partners, to reach your savings goals together, like saving for a trip you want to take together, or a car you want to buy. The rules are endless and a really fun way to save your extra pennies without doing anything more than going about your normal day! There is also a handy feature that makes sure your checking account doesn’t dip too low because of your goals. It pauses your rules until your linked account gets back to a safe level, and then begins saving for you again! The app charges $3 a month for the service, but the savings it has helped me put aside are TOTALLY worth the monthly expense.
*We can both get $10 for our accounts if you choose to sign up here!
Digit – Digit is another clever savings app that does all of the work for you. It evaluates your spending habits and then transfers money from your linked bank account into your Digit account. The app studies your day-to-day spending and income history (taking things into account like your account balance, upcoming income, upcoming bills, and your recent spending patterns) and then finds daily savings opportunities that you won’t notice. (My deposits can be as low as a couple of dollars or up to $20, depending on what’s happening in my checking account at the time). Every 2 or 3 days, the app will transfer some money from your linked account to your secure Digit savings account. They have a no-overdraft guarantee and will never transfer more than you can afford! You can choose to set up just one savings account, or create multiple accounts to save more for a specific goal, like a new car, a new house, or to pay off a credit card. In addition to the app, you can communicate with Digit via text too! You can send a text to pause your savings at any time, check your balance, or withdraw your funds. One of the features that I really love are the handy text alerts that I get every day to show me what my checking account balance currently looks like. Plus, you’ll get fun text notifications when your Digit savings accounts reach certain goals too! And for every three months that you save with Digit, you’ll earn a 1% savings bonus that automatically gets deposited into your account. The app charges $2.99 a month for the service, but again, it’s helping me save a lot more than I would on my own without thinking about it, so the fee is worth it to me! There’s a reason why Digit is on my favorite money saving and finance apps list…I’ve easily saved over $4,000, without even trying, since I started using it.
*You can snag $5 for your account here, just for signing up! (I’ll get $5 too!)
NerdWallet – This app made my favorite money saving and finance apps list, not because of how much it saves for me, but because it helps to direct me on ways to save smarter and make better financial decisions. Nerdwallet is what I’d consider to be a personal finance app (they also have a website). The app and site help you compare different checking and savings accounts, credit cards, investment providers, mortgages, loans, insurance, and they also help you keep track of your credit score too! All of their recommendations are unbiased and are based on independent ratings and reviews. They also offer a variety of online calculators to figure out things like how much of a mortgage you can afford or how many points your credit score may increase or decrease by opening a new credit card or raising your credit limits. You can track your spending, figure out which banks pay the highest interest rate for savings accounts, and SO much more. Plus, when you sign up for an account, you’ll start getting a weekly money update email so you can stay on top of your finances like a boss. And did I mention that it’s FREE?! All in all, I feel so much more informed and like I’m making better financial decisions since I started using it.
Robinhood – This app is a fairly new one to me, and one that I’m still figuring out, but if you’re interested in starting out with stocks or looking for a little guidance, Robinhood is an easy to use app that makes it fairly simple for stock newbies like me. (They also have an entire section devoted to “Investing 101”, if you’re just getting started). It’s super easy to sign up and just as easy to add funds to your account. There’s no account minimum and the app is simple to use. (I especially love that I can manage everything from my phone!) The app allows you to trade stocks, exchange traded funds, bonds, and even cryptocurrency! Plus, it’s completely free, minus your investment, so you don’t have to pay any fees or any commissions. The app also has a cool feature called “collections”, which allows you to see which curated group a stock falls into and to find similar stocks like it, such as companies owned by female CEO’s, apparel, food, and a lot more. Each stock also has a news section, so you can stay up to date on their latest changes, and can also see where analysts rate each stock so you know when to buy, hold, or sell your shares. You can also sign up for Robinhood “Snacks”, a daily newsletter (that only takes about 3 minutes to read) with updates on the latest financial news that’s big, interesting, and fun. Overall, it’s an easy and non-intimidating way to start with stocks, learn the process, and build a healthy portfolio, with ZERO pressure.
*We can both receive a free stock if you sign up here!
So there you have it! Those are my favorite money saving and finance apps! Over the course of the year, it’s been crazy to see how much I’m setting aside without doing anything at all. I definitely wish that I would have known about them sooner so I could have been saving longer, but better late than never!
Do you guys already use any of my favorite money saving and finance apps? If so, which ones are your faves? And if not, what are some that I might not know about and need to?
If you decide to download and start using any of the ones I suggested, let me know which ones you’re loving!